Iranian sources familiar with the details of a final agreement scheduled to be announced on Monday said sanctions and an arms embargo against Iran will be lifted and restrictions on its nuclear activity will only be "temporary" in a deal that falls "within the redlines" laid out by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to Iran’s state-controlled media.
As world powers work to secure a final deal, Iranian sources are indicating that the United States has caved on most major issues, including the timing of sanctions relief, the length of the deal, and arms sales to Tehran.
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Initially, U.S officials had promised that sanctions would not be lifted until Iran provided full access to its military and non-military nuclear sites. However, this demand appears to be off the table as talks begin to close.
The Iranians also claim the United States will sign a deal that only hinders the country’s nuclear program for a limited amount of time. Officials in Obama administration insisted just weeks ago that any deal would be permanent.
The most controversial concession purported to have been allowed by the Obama administration is the lifting of a United Nations resolution banning arms sales to Tehran, according to the country’s Fars News Agency.
"According to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, all sanctions against Iran are terminated and Iran will no more be recognized as a sanctioned nation," an Iranian source close to the negotiations was quoted as telling Fars. "The JCPA only envisages a set of temporary restrictions that will be removed after a limited and logical period of time, as stated earlier by the Iranian Supreme Leader."
Sanctions would be fully lifted after a deal is signed, the source told Fars.
"All economic, financial and banking sanctions against Iran will be terminated for good on day one after the endorsement of the deal, again as the Iranian Supreme Leader has demanded," the news outlet quoted the source as saying.
Pro-Tehran organizations, such as the National American Iranian Council (NIAC), have lobbied American legislators in the past to convince them that a lifting of the arms embargo is a necessary requirement for any deal.
"Iran will no more be under any arms embargo, and according to a UN Security Council resolution that will be issued on the day when the deal is signed by the seven states, all arms embargoes against Iran will be terminated, while its annex keeps some temporary restrictions on Iran for a limited period," Fars quoted the source as saying.
The source also said the final deal will fall within parameters outlined by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly said that international inspectors would be barred from Iran’s military sites and that all sanctions must be lifted immediately.
Additionally, U.N. resolutions sanctioning Tehran would become "null and void," according to the Iranians.
An announcement is likely to be reached by Monday, according to U.S. officials who spoke to the Associated Press.
If the deal is finished, a formal text will be sent for review to the leaders of all countries involved, including Iran, according to the AP.
Recent reports, as well as sources in Vienna appraised of the situation, remain unclear about how Iran’s sanctions money will be spent.
Lawmakers and analysts in the United States have expressed concern that Iran might spend the billions of dollars it would receive in sanctions relief on its global terrorism enterprise, which includes Hezbollah and other anti-Semitic terror groups.
Questions remain about how any final deal will affect Iran’s actions in the Middle East and elsewhere, including in Yemen, where Tehran is sponsoring militias.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill continued to express reservations about the deal.
"I am gravely concerned we soon will see an agreement that enables Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, to keep vast nuclear capabilities without subjecting it to snap nuclear inspections anytime and at any place, including military facilities," Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) said in a statement issued Sunday evening.
"Worse, the agreement is set to blow an irreparable hole in the international sanctions regime, easing a U.N. arms embargo while also giving Iran back as much as $160 billion in frozen assets. If the administration cannot say ‘no’ to an Iran deal with bad terms, then Congress must act," Kirk said.